Whisky Review: Bowmore 12 (Islay)
January 2, 2010

Another nice malt, from one of my preferred distilleries. A cut below the Lagavulin but at a third of the price it’s great value. The colour is a pleasing orange; the nose is pleasant and not overpowering with a slightly sharp background and a (not unpleasant) hint of chlorine (or maybe that’s just because my glass wasn’t totally dry when I poured it?) without much of the characteristic Islay smoke. There are some faintly sweet notes. Maybe a hint of paper? The taste is fiery and a little bitter, without many specific flavours that I can pick out. Maybe slightly sweet although the sweetness is quickly overpowered. The finish is a quite bitter. Not one of the greats, but a good malt nonetheless.

After a while more tastes become evident: grass? Miso? A hint of smoke starts to come through.

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Whisky Review: Lagavulin 16 (Islay)
January 2, 2010

I’m a huge fan of whisky and this is one of my favourites. The colour (achieved by additon of caramel colouring, one of the few things it is legal to add to Scotch whisky) is a beautifully deep and fiery orange. The nose and taste are sweet and smoky; the smoke can be enhanced by exhaling after nosing or tasting and the sweetness is intensified massively by cleansing the mouth with a sip of water in between sips of whisky. The finish is long, smoky and fiery, and warms to the core. A massive, beautiful malt.